Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

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Yorktown VaSept 28th 1863My dear Maria

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I have just got through breakfast and got my official papers off for Head Qrs so will scribble you a few lines. since I last wrote we have lost by death six of our men Five died in two days and one was shot by a negro soldier late at night The negro is to be tried but will probably be cleared. On account of the unusual amount of sickness here. I wrote to Lester that it was not best perhaps for him to think of coming here yet It would not be strange if we were ordered to Newbern N.C. but as yet we know nothing positive so cant say certain. This climate appears to be of the very worst! The 118th & 99th N.Y. Regts at Gloucester Point are large Regiments but now report only 100 men each for duty Ours is the smallest and we report about 200 so you see we are better off than any of the rest but bad off at that. I am still in command but I expect Col Ripley & Maj Jarvis home this week so we will be pretty well supplied with field officers. We expect to get paid off this week but I am afraid I will not be able to send you much this

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time as I am in debt here a little over $220 and my pay will amnt to about $430. there is however one months pay due me at present which amounts to about $160- so you see I am not running in debt- Did Carrie get the picture I sent? How does uncle Robys folks get along? Does Aunt, M- stick her nose into every ones business as much as of old? Has Col Jewett gone back to his Regt? Has Mary Bullard named her child yet? Well I guess you will think me rather in question but I have to write just as I am inspired or not at all- I am about getting me another negro as my old one dont exactly suit me. The trouble is he has got too much white blood in him. The one I have hired is a regular old uncle Thom, and as black as soot. I guess you will think this pretty dry lot of Stuff well [for]give me and it for what it is worth and in doing so remember my poor abilities for letter writing- Be sure and get my shirts large so after shrinking they will not be too small. When is that letter Coz Mary was going to write me Give her my love and accept it also for yourself & children.

With Much love I remain your
Aff Husband Val